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Sustainable Fish-friendly Costa Rica holidays at Hilton hotels

Hilton Worldwide signed an agreement this week with the Costa Rican Federation of Fishing Tourism in a bid to elminate marlin and sailfish from their hotel menus. This move will benefit both sportfishing tourism and the wider Costa Rica holidays market.

Sustainable Fish-friendly Costa Rica holidays at Hilton hotels

Showing their commitment and concern over big game catch and unsustainable fishing practices in the region, the Hilton Worldwide hotel chain has liaised with the Costa Rican Federation of Fishing Tourism (FECOPT) to permanently eliminate marlin and sailfish from hotel restaurant menus.

This eco-friendly move by the Hilton brand is another step forward to allow the giant hotelier to better fit in, in a country praised for its natural riches and for their ongoing conservation efforts. It’s a well-known fact that those who take Costa Rica holidays do so for the country’s wealth of nature preserves, rainforests and state-of-the-art eco-friendly hotels that use renewable resources in their installations and for the maintenance of their facilities.

As such, and having such a strong presence in the Costa Rica holidays market, the Hilton brand didn’t want to be left behind or go unnoticed for not showing their commitment to preserve the environment. Thus gaining a new reputation for eco-friendliness, Hilton Hoels in Costa Rica has new badge of sustainability to show off.

Hilton Worldwide has various hotels in Costa Rica at different resorts including Puntarenas, Liberia, Papagayo and San José.

The agreement, signed by Hilton Hotels this week, in conjunction with the FECOPT, is an effort to promote awareness about the vulnerability of marlin and sailfish species in the country, as these are crucial to the country’s sport-fishing tourism industry, in which fish are caught using the tag and release method and thus returning them live to the water. Sportfishing currently accounts for as much as 27 per cent of total tourism income in Costa Rica.

With this new move, Hilton becomes the first hotel chain in Costa Rica to take the step as part of the hotelier programme for Social and Environmental Responsibility.

The decision not to serve these two types of fish aims to both protect a vulnerable species that is crucial to Costa Rican sportfishing tourism while keeping consumers safe from products that may be high in mercury content, according to a statement released by FECOPT.

As it turns out, also during this week, supermarket chain Auto Mercado announced it would remove from its shelves sailfish, marlin, shark and corvineta. In an explanatory note, spokesman for Auto Mercado revealed that the store had decided to remove corvineta after lab tests revealed high levels of mercury and other toxins found in the fish.

Enrique Ramírez, FECOPT Executive Director praised the move. Another one to follow suit with the praises was Ricardo Rodríguez, general manager of Hilton’s DoubleTree Resort in the Pacific port of Puntarenas, who promised similar measures in the future to promote sustainable tourism, better and improved eco-friendly holidays in Costa Rica and a more responsible use of resources.

Previous studies have shown that sailfish and marlin are more valuable alive as a benefit to the marine ecosystem and the sportfishing, and the estimated value of a live marlin or sailfish is about $3,000, while their value is only $125 each when sold as food. According to FECOPT sportfishing in Costa Rica generates some 63,000 jobs and $78 million in tax revenue, so its practice is extremely beneficial for both the tourism industry and the wider economy.

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